Virat Kohli was named as the captain of the T20I squad against Ireland. (Source: Express File)
Virat Kohli, who was named as the captain of India’s T20I squad against Ireland on Tuesday by the BCCI, will skip the first T20 international on June 27, 2018 and will instead play for his country club, Surrey, against Yorkshire at Scarborough from June 25-28. Because of his duties to Surrey, the 29-year old will skip the first T20I and will join the team from the second T20I, which is to be played on June 29.
“He (Kohli) will play one of the two (in Ireland),” a BCCI official told reporters.
BCCI on Tuesday announced the India squad for the historic series against the Irish. But the national board and selectors, who were reportedly keen on Kohli to feature in the series, overlooked the fact that the right-handed batsman is contracted to play in the English county for the month of June with Surrey, as his preparation step for the upcoming series against England which starts on July 3 with the first T20I in Manchester.
“Kohli will be available for all cricket throughout the month [of June] until the close of Surrey’s trip to Scarborough to face Yorkshire [June 25 to 28],” says Surrey’s website in relation to the India captain’s availability.
Director of Cricket and former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart further made it clear that Kohli will be available to them for the month of June. “He will be here for three championship games and a minimum of three 50 over games that can help Surrey and it can help Virat by providing cricket for him. He wanted to play county cricket and it may help him in getting ready for the Test series,” Stewart was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
It still remains to be seen who will captain India in the first T20I in Kohli’s absence, but it is highly likely Rohit Sharma will take the mantle.